Theresa May brings ailing Brexit deal back to Parliament


Britain's battle over Brexit has turned into political trench warfare between Parliament and the Government, as Prime Minister Theresa May brought her little-loved European Union divorce agreement back to politicians who appear determined to thwart her plans.

If the United Kingdom tumbles out of the bloc on March 29 without any new trading partnership in place, official analysis suggests the impact could trigger a recession, with the pound falling by as much as 25% and house prices by as much 30%.

MPs voted 308-297 on Wednesday in favour of demanding the government come up with an alternative plan within three working days after Tuesday's vote, rather than a planned 21-day limit, in a non-binding motion that nonetheless piles pressure on the government.

The furore over Speaker John Bercow's decision to allow a vote on a Brexit amendment leads numerous front pages on Thursday.

"I am clear in my mind that I have taken the right course".

'But it is also the intention if that were not to take place, that we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward following that vote'.

It all points to a scenario in which the prime minister, who leads a weak minority government, can't dictate what happens next, while an emboldened Parliament increasingly asserts its will.

"We will continue to work closely with Theresa May to help in whatever way we can in the run-up to the (UK parliamentary) vote" on the exit deal she struck with Brussels, Abe said.

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He said the deadlock could be broken if the United Kingdom gained legally binding assurances from the European Union that the backstop would be a temporary arrangement.

The "backstop" is a fallback option to avoid a hard border between the two if a trade deal is not agreed at the end of the transition period (December 31, 2020).

The Government would remain under an worldwide obligation to keep the border open, and it is understood ministers would be expected to seek alternative arrangements, possibly involving the use of new technology, within the 12-month deadline.

Nottinghamshire campaigners believe arguments over Brexit "could go on forever" if Theresa May's Brexit deal is approved by parliament next week.

What is striking is that Elliot reports it is not impossible that Jeremy Corbyn could give tacit support for backing a modified deal in order to avoid a no-deal exit and a second referendum, neither of which the Labour leader wants.

Hunt insisted there was only one issue causing the deadlock over May's deal and that was the backstop mechanism, created to ensure there was no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.

A no-deal Brexit remains the default option if the Parliament doesn't back May's agreement on January 15, even though a majority of lawmakers supported a motion on Tuesday created to reduce the chances of Britain tumbling out of the bloc on 29 March.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, responding for the Labour Party, dismissed Barclay's list of so-called concessions, saying MPs were resuming the debate without the government having secured any meaningful changes.

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'That is what I have tried to do and what I will go on doing'.

In response to Mr Corbyn, the chairman of Mrs May's Conservative Party said Labour did not have a plan for Brexit.

May is still seeking assurances from the European Union on the most controversial elements of the Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland, in a bid to convince critics to back the agreement.

"I think we shouldn't forget that in the kind of unprecedented situation that we're in things are changing very, very fast", he said.

When word got round about Mr Bercow's decision, incandescent rage spread through the Government and along the Conservative benches. I engaged regularly with major employers in my constituency, such as Nissan, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and others, to hear their concerns about the process as it has unfolded over the past two years.

Brexiteer former minister Crispin Blunt warned many no longer regarded him as a neutral arbiter of Commons proceedings and urged him to "reflect" on his position.

If you feel like you ought to know more about Brexit.

The source declined to say whether the advice had come from Commons clerks, but made clear the government could draw on expertise from beyond its own ranks in such cases.

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